Mayer Hawthorne Fails To Leave Any Lasting ‘Impressions’

If Mayer Hawthorne‘s idea behind this latest freEP was to put the listener to sleep,
well then I say job well done. The first time I played Impressions through, I forgot I was listening to
music — not good. To be fair, cover albums will always be hit or miss. Hawthorne isn’t without
talent, but his voice can only go so far before he starts sounding the same on every track.
The songs he chose to cover are completely different in their original versions, but his
reworking of them makes it all sound muddled. His version of the Isley Brothers‘ “Work
to Do” is mediocre at best even in comparison to Average White Band‘s take on it (who
killed it by the way). He doesn’t stray too far away from the original, but he just isn’t
packing any oomph. The same applies to all the other songs. Throughout the entire six-song EP, he’s just lacking. There is, however, one standout track, “Fantasy Girl.” Maybe
I like it so much because I have never heard the original, but Hawthorne sounds superb
on this one. He isn’t doing too much with his voice, so he doesn’t sound strained; he’s simply
floating across the piano-led melody and that’s when he sounds best.

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